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Prevent to reduce: Redwood City councilors opt for new ways to improve safety

Redwood City Councilors
Redwood City councilors will have the opportunity to improve the community by allocating the 2023-2024 budget to aspects that residents, through a survey, indicated as priorities to improve the quality of life in the area. Image: Capture of the June 10 session of the Redwood City City Council.

Listen to this note:

 

This coming Monday, June 24, the residents of Redwood City, together with the city councilors, will have the opportunity to improve the community by allocating the 2023-2024 budget in aspects that the inhabitants, through a survey, indicated as priorities to improve the quality of life in the area.

Thus, the Redwood City Council will have the opportunity to discuss the financing of different projects, for which a special one-time fund will be allocated for a total of 7.1 million dollars, for the renovation of parks, paving of roads, ramps for people with disabilities or implementing surveillance cameras, to mention a few.

In an interview with Peninsula 360 Press, the councilors Lissette Espinoza Garnica (District 3) and Chris Sturken (District 2), pointed out that, according to the surveys, security was an important aspect, so it is planned to allocate around one million dollars to implement surveillance cameras wherever necessary. 

However, they commented, carrying out such a surveillance program would be highly expensive for the city, since the study for the cameras alone could cost around 250 thousand dollars. But the overall study, coupled with implementation, camera purchases, and ongoing maintenance (including possibly having to hire an outside contractor to review footage), would exceed $1 million over time.

In that sense, Chris Sturken commented that "the cameras are very expensive and currently we do not have a policy ready to implement said program, the funds would only be enough to investigate where the surveillance cameras could be placed," so there would be to allocate more resources to this project in the budgets of the coming years.

In turn, Lissette Espinoza said that this project is not a prevention program, since it would only serve to check a place when a crime has already occurred. "In terms of security, it is better to invest money in preventing crimes, that is something that does not waste so many resources and has more return on investment." 

Therefore, they considered that an alternative would be to use these funds for programs such as the expansion of bicycle lanes and places to walk, which would allow emergency services, such as police and firefighters, to arrive at a call in less time.

Redwood City Councilors
The Redwood City Council will have the opportunity to discuss the financing of different projects, for which a special one-time fund will be allocated for a total of 7.1 million dollars. Image: Capture of the June 10 session of the Redwood City City Council.

 

In addition, having spaces for citizens to enjoy the streets also benefits businesses, has benefits for young people and the community in general, as it encourages them to have a healthy life, in addition to having benefits for their physical and emotional health. and mental.

?We have to invest in projects that get to the root of insecurity. By expanding bike lanes, we would also have permanent infrastructure that will benefit the community for many years and not just temporarily.

Added to this is the deficit of more than 9 million dollars that Redwood City currently has, which in the future could impact services such as libraries, assistance services, fire and police departments, parks and other programs. essential for citizenship.

?It is important to find a way to generate more resources for the city; tax and reform options are currently being studied, such as for business licenses so that there is no impact on these services.?  

Espinoza-Garnica explained that the proposed tax will not guarantee all essential services, but it would be considerable, since the annual deficit is around 9.3 million dollars and the new measure could raise about 7 million.

It should be noted that citizens can view City Council meetings on Zoom, but will not be able to make public comments. 

You can also send an email to PublicComment@RedwoodCity.org before 5 pm on the day of the meeting, so that your comment can be read aloud as long as there is enough time for it.

 

Redwood City Councilors
Those interested can attend the meeting in person next Monday, at 7:30 pm, at 1017 Middlefield Road, in the Council Chambers of City Hall, where Spanish translation will be available. Image: Capture of the June 10 session of the Redwood City City Council.

You may be interested in: Reallocation of funds from Redwood City's budget for this year to be discussed

Pamela Cruz
Pamela Cruz
Editor-in-Chief of Peninsula 360 Press. A communicologist by profession, but a journalist and writer by conviction, with more than 10 years of media experience. Specialized in medical and scientific journalism at Harvard and winner of the International Visitors Leadership Program scholarship from the U.S. government.

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